Trying to take away the right to grow food… in New Zealand, of all places

From Martin on Investment Watch Blog. Thanks to Jacinta for the heads up:

Photo from the New Zealand blog Sunshine + Design. Click to go there.

“I was shocked to learn from a friend on the weekend that a new Food Bill is being brought in here in New Zealand.  The new bill will make it a privilege and not a right to grow food.

I find two aspects of this bill alarming.  The first is the scope and impact the new bill has, and secondly that it has all happened so quietly.  There has been VERY little media coverage, on a bill which promises to jeopardise the future food security of the country.

I read that the bill is being brought in because of the WTO, which of course has the US FDA behind it, and of course that is influenced by big business (Monsanto and other players).  It looks like this NZ food bill will pave the way to reduce the plant diversity and small owner operations in New Zealand, for example by way of controlling the legality of seed saving and trading/barter/giving away; all will be potentially illegal.  The best website to read about the problems with the new bill is (I have no connection with this website)

Here are some snippets:

– It turns a human right (to grow food and share it) into a government-authorised privilege that can be summarily revoked.

– It makes it illegal to distribute “food” without authorisation, and it defines “food” in such a way that it includes nutrients, seeds, natural medicines, essential minerals and drinks (including water).

– By controlling seeds, the bill takes the power to grow food away from the public and puts it in the hands of seed companies. That power may be abused.

– Growing food for distribution must be authorised, even for “cottage industries”, and such authorisation can be denied.

– Under the Food Bill, Police acting as Food Safety Officers can raid premises without a warrant, using all equipment they deem necessary – including guns (Clause 265 – 1).

– Members of the private sector can also be Food Safety Officers, as at Clause 243. So Monsanto employees can raid premises – including marae – backed up by armed police.

– The Bill gives Food Safety Officers immunity from criminal and civil prosecution.

– The Government has created this bill to keep in line with its World Trade Organisation obligations under an international scheme called Codex Alimentarius (“Food Book”). So it has to pass this bill in one form or another.

– The bill would undermine the efforts of many people to become more self-sufficient within their local communities.

– Seed banks and seed-sharing networks could be shut down if they could not obtain authorisation. Loss of seed variety would make it more difficult to grow one’s own food.

– Home-grown food and some or all seed could not be bartered on a scale or frequency necessary to feed people in communities where commercially available food has become unaffordable or unavailable (for example due to economic collapse).

– Restrictions on the trade of food and seed would quickly lead to the permanent loss of heirloom strains, as well as a general lowering of plant diversity in agriculture.

– Organic producers of heirloom foods could lose market share to big-money agribusiness outfits, leading to an increase in the consumption of nutrient-poor and GE foods.

The key factor is seeds. In many cases they specifically are food, of course. Grain seed, seed potatoes, rice, maize, quinoa, many staples etc etc – as the bill stands all these will explicitly be controlled substances, with similar penalties for possession as drugs.

This being so, the unenforceability of prohibiting people from growing food for local distribution becomes a moot point. No good seeds means no good food (if any food at all) to distribute.

One of the few newspaper articles that I’ve seen, highlighting some of the problems with the bill.  This from the Timaru Herald newspaper


Some snippets:

The woman behind the Oamaru community gardens is concerned a bill going through Parliament could jeopardise the project.

Gardens co-ordinator Annie Beattie said the Food Bill, which passed its first reading on July 22, was more commercially driven than about food safety.  “It’s all about big companies wanting sole rights to seeds because they don’t produce seeds and you have to buy them again each year. They are contaminated seeds.  “I have to say I am furious about these bullying tactics.”

She has signed an online petition opposing the bill. “This to me is a dictatorship and certainly not a democratic society.  “I think its time for people to open their eyes be responsible and stand up for their rights.  “I would go to jail if I had to and will be defending the right to have community gardens and share our food and our knowledge of the importance of good, safe, real food.”

I found the website for the gardens:… and waicomgardens at for E-Mail.

I have been a member of this site for over a year, and this is my first post.  I did not think it would come to this in little old New Zealand, literally at the ends of the earth.  Very serious stuff indeed….”

Read it all on Investment Watch blog.


Filed under News

20 responses to “Trying to take away the right to grow food… in New Zealand, of all places

  1. “…… The Government has created this bill to keep in line with its World Trade Organisation obligations under an international scheme called Codex Alimentarius (“Food Book”). So it has to pass this bill in one form or another……”

    When I mention the Codex Alimentarius I get looked at like I have 3 heads. People are unable to think and reason any longer. Government education, the lobotomy box, and the fluoride in the water are contributing factors.

    None I know are discussing or planning how to battle this monster. When they finally do wake up some day, I am certain that they will take the wrong action as they do not even know who the enemy really is. As usual we will be manipulated to fight one another rather than the perpetrators.

    When government asserts that you no longer have a right to breath air or drink water will the sheeple wake up? I think you know the sad answer. Government is the God of most of mankind and you don’t question your God.

  2. Peter

    Unless a nation’s constitution precludes the state from protecting it’s public through pre-emptive regulations, the next question is: Where is the line drawn? What regulations are justified, and which ones are not? Should the sale and distribution of deli meat products be regulated, but not lettuce? Should the processing of deli meat products be regulated, but not lettuce? I ask the questions not to micro analyze, but to cause us to zoom out, and hence macro analyze. I suggest that when we zoom out, we might be able to perceive what the broad boundaries are.
    I believe “they” see themselves as having a duty of care to “their” public.
    On the topic of inalienable rights, I would suggest that they are not being taken away (for such is an oxymoron and a technical impossibility). I would suggest that it is certain unhindered conduct of selling/distributing to the public without permit which is now being regulated, and hence becoming subject to licensing. But I would suggest that such is not the taking away of an unalienable right…
    And, yes, yes… I’m sure for some it is as clear as mud. But perhaps it is at least thought provoking 🙂

  3. Peter I don’t care what a bunch of elites write on a piece of paper a hundred years before I was born and then imply that by the fact of my birth that I agreed to it. I don’t care where your myopic logic leads you….

    Inalienable means just that. Constitutions, tradition, the majority, people with guns, or even me signing a paper can not take away inalienable rights.
    This is a fact of definition Peter.

    Governments can use obtuse language and pseudo- logic to trample them and make it sound lie what they are doing is just – but that does not change the fact that fancy arguments and obfuscation do not justify the rape of peoples and their rights.

    • Peter

      I suppose you have every right to not care what they write on a piece of paper. But I hope that you can at least recognize that having rights is completely and utterly useless unless they can be enforced. Forgive me for the assumption, but I doubt you have the wherewithal to enforce your own rights. As a consequence, I believe it might be prudent for you to see how “they” see it… They are, after all, in a position of power to enforce rights… their own, mine, and, if you like, yours. I would suggest that you ignore their perspective at your own peril. And if writing letters to McGuinty, having rallies, going on hunger strikes, or yelling with megaphones will get you your unalienable rights back (huh???), then by all means do so. Such conduct may demonstrate courage (a necessity for “effective” confrontation / fighting). However, the same conduct speaks just the same to a fundamental lack of confidence, which, in my opinion, results in the prevailing victim mentality, and is the cause for the need to fight. If fighting is what is wanted, then so be it.
      PS – should the government grant “us” leniency, do we then proclaim that the government gave us our unalienable rights back?

  4. It has been my observation that “government” – does nothing but infringe upon my rights 24/7. Basically I have no rights at all. Not any that matter at least. I still have a right to choose which hand I use to wipe my rear, but really wonder how long that will last.

    As far as things that matter, my income is not my own, and any arbitrary amount can be stolen up to 100%.
    I can not own property, because of property tax and the theft of its use not by laws, but the mere edicts of bureaucrats such as the EPA.

    I can not even start a business without my owners permission.

    We are slaves and as Goethe said “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those that think they are free.” What we have today is what statists call anarchy. We have absolute lawlessness and it’s all legal of course. (I think this went over 99% of the readers heads. Did you catch it?)

    An anecdotal example of a working system is of the American territories before they became States. The so called “legal” system was rarely used because that could take years and it could also be years between your contact with the authority (the county sheriff) People recognizing that they were the sovereign, that they were the law took care of things – and while not perfect worked magnitudes better than today’s system. The reason being IMHO is that most people were honest and moral – unlike today. A condition caused mainly IMHO by the actions of our governments.

    I think that people are very much capable of defending their rights Peter without oppressive government. Is that not the system we have now?
    Since when are police present when a crime happens? Be honest. I have NEVER had that happen. But have prevented a few crimes because I defended my rights.

    Perhaps in a situation where the majority of people are evil and corrupt this would not work well but that is the case with or without government. Because evil people gravitate towards government. Government is filled with psychopaths. So more government is the solution?

    If we are to have any government – even very limited government – the people need many more viable options (besides the 2nd amendment) to bring government back into line. Space is too short to go into depth but this is the failing of ALL governments to date. They ALL become tyrannical and they all end up doing the opposite of what they were put in place to do. (Protect inalienable rights.) Dave Champion from Parumph NV is currently writing “Constitution 2” and what I have heard of it, is light years ahead of any modern government in addressing these issues.

    What is appalling to me are peoples absolute refusal to recognize how evil governments are and also their refusal to do anything about it.
    I find the magnitude of government evils to make the evil of criminals almost a non-issue in comparison.

    Perhaps you will enjoy this history of the unbridled growth of the police and the police state:

    • Peter

      Thanks for your commentary.
      Your opening paragraph suggest that you are perpetually the victim of government trespass. It would seem to me that you are anyway having challenges defending or enforcing your rights.
      My comments about your ability to defend your rights was not directed merely at your neighbor, but predominantly against the might for the state (their police/military might). As I said, you having rights is completely useless unless you can enforce them.
      I understand the perspective that governments are psychopaths. However, what is your remedy against them? I would suggest it is law (I’m not referring to social policy here), or having a bigger gun than they do, so to speak.
      You sight the 2nd amendment, suggesting you have an American perspective. The ideas I have spoken of apply down there as well. However, the structure is, at it’s root, different, and the root problem is different. Washington DC has no jurisdiction to regulate the affairs of the people of america. However, Washington DC does have the right to create or employ entities to carry out its duties to the several States. I would suggest that “US citizens” are just that, and are thus then subject to regulations by Washington DC. In a manner of speaking, Washington DC has thereby (in the last 100 years) created a “public”, which it otherwise never had.
      And if you like, you can dismiss what they have on paper. I am confidant you perceive yourself sovereign with unalienable rights, and their “system” is unjust. To them, that is not a problem. As you have noted, they have a place for you too… Are you prepared to defend your liberty against the coming police state?

  5. To directly answer your question:

    “…. if writing letters to McGuinty, having rallies, going on hunger strikes, or yelling with megaphones will get you your unalienable rights back (huh???)…”

    Government realizes what is going to happen and what the name of the game is – even if you do not Peter. Why do you think they have build huge prison camps and passed laws saying they can take us away, torture, and kill us without charge?

    Tyrants never give up power peacefully mainly because too many mundanes are busy licking their their boots to solve the conflict peacefully. The King George/ Crown licking Torries in the US insured that the conflict was left to a small number of men that had to solve it forcefully.
    It does not have to end this way, but for whatever reason most men are boot lickers.

    Those of you that think the state will somehow correct itself will be hopelessly enslaved by the time you realize that every thing they were told about government representing you, blah, blah, blah is a lie. Canadians will learn eventually that all people that are disarmed by their governments will be at the blunt end of genocide. I mean the Queen runs your country if you don’t make the right decisions. Could you be any more in denial?

    “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom–go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.” — Samuel Adams

    • Peter

      By the same virtue you seem to suggest that I might not see what the name of the game is, I might suggest that neither do you. And then what?
      All your commentary seems to point to a feeling of oppression brought on by the realization of how much the government has encroached on our liberties. And it seems to me that you are calling on, or supporting political action to remedy it. That is not a problem. However, if I may suggest, your “unalienable rights” are not a product of politics, but a function of natural law. Forgive me, but I fail to see anything in your response as a direct answer to the initially quoted portion of your comment. Could you clarify?

  6. Unbelievable. I am, for the moment, speechless. Growing food is a privilege?!

    Has the religious sector weighed in? According to the Bible, growing food is neither a right nor a privilege, but a directive.

  7. Syd

    I think we should develop a community where there is at least one or two key farmers as members (depending on the size). We won’t have as many rights as the Americans do, to do what we want on our collective land holding, but it will be a start.

  8. Syd

    I think we should develop a community where there is at least one or two key farmers as members (depending on the size). We won’t have as many rights as the Americans do, to do what we want on our collective land holding, but it will be a start.

  9. I do not claim to be omnipotent but I think I have a good general idea of what the people that own and control our governments are up to.

    Using the system to make any fundamental changes in the system will never work IMHO. The only peaceful resolution that I can see is if a large number of sheeple get out of their trance and demand change. I don’t think either of our countries could handle say 50 million people demanding change. There would not be enough jail cells to jail them, enough police or soldiers to quell or even kill them all. Just as we did during the revolutionary war with King George we are being extremely restrained – perhaps too much so. We have refrained from drawing the first blood and have taken the moral high ground even though drawing blood would be more than justified at this point in time.

    The repeated answer of the system has been to remove and constrain all means for peaceful change. They demand fee’s and permits for free speech and even then define free speech zones. Our elections are rigged, the debates are skewed. The media is bought and payed for. The feds thinks they own the sovereign states. The right of jury nullification has be squashed. The power of the grand jury totally subverted.

    The system that is supposed to be our servants are out of control and see us as their slaves.

    Peter there will be those that do not defend against the coming police state and it is my strong belief that most of them or their descendants will be eliminated by the state and those that are allowed to live will probably learn to love their servitude as Orwell put it – even though in reality they will have less rights than chattel slaves did in the past. Then there will be the few that love liberty more than life and will resist regardless of the out come.

    If I interpret your question properly I have never lost my inalienable rights. They are being stomped on and violated but that does not mean I have lost them. They are always retained. As far as lifting the violations of them, the events and tactics that take place will depend on the choices humanity makes as a whole. Does humanity sit on it’s collective arse watching football and swilling beer? Or do they get involved in changing the system. —- I am not hopeful.

    I wish your countrymen good will. I am not sure of the correct course at all times but doing something sure beats doing nothing.

  10. Peter, here is a very American way of dealing with tyranny.
    One which is not perfect, but for a time produced the most free, and the most prosperous country in the history of mankind.

    Armed and Ready: New Mexico Residents Defy Government

    I think everyone could learn something from this approach.

  11. Syd

    International government legislations being created in line with the World Trade Organisation obligations under the auspises of the Codex Alimentarius, are a lot like the influx of Cane Toads in Australia… increasingly rampant and.toxic.

  12. Winifred

    Once again, I find ” inalienablewrights” ideas exceptionally offensive….this is akin to war mongering, and I hope this is not the outlook of the Bovine or the raw milk or food movement. Violence is out of place. Such movements are about enriching and ennobling life. If not…I don’t want to be part of them.

    • WInifred
      Your finding my ideas “exceptionally offensive” is exactly the reason that free speech is somewhat protected in our First Amendment, but the real protection comes from the concept of it being an inalienable right.

      If I read between the lines correctly I think you are thoroughly socialist indoctrinated and love living in a 1984 type of world, and that you love your servitude as Orwell would say. You would, I think, have no problem with criminalizing my speech and really any speech that you find “offensive”.

      I find it ignorant and aberrant that you would confuse my opinions with those of “The Bovine”. I see your comment as a terror tactic and threat against the Bovine. You also seem to have a fantasy that “movements” are homogenous. That no one in a movement can have an original thought. Sort of like belonging to a cult.

      I find your ignorance of history appalling but seeing that you probably attended a government school it is understandable. Do you think that in a government school that they would teach you the irrefutable historical fact that it almost always takes force to stop tyrants? There is a very strong conflict of interest against teaching the sheeple any real history. Very akin to the fact that parochial schools eschew talking about pediophilic priests.

      Violence is out of place? What in Hades do you think the governments of the world are? They all claim a monopoly on violence that is the very definition of government. And they all use it indiscriminately. My government has murdered at least 1.5 million Iraqi civilians in the past 20 years.

      Let me ask you Winifred when an institution that claims to have a monopoly on violence becomes tyrannical. When it starts murdering it’s citizens. When it starts locking them in cages for spurious reasons. My own criminal government has recently openly declared war on the American people and claims a right to torture and murder us for any reason whatsoever.

      What course of actions do you think will be effective when this happens? Getting on your knees and begging perhaps?

      Nay, what course of actions when you give a peaceful people no other choices may become necessary?

      We have an entire generation of people on this planet that have been indoctrinated by governments and don’t know a bit of history. It’s a shame and and it is extremely dangerous. I find it ironic that people like you that are ignorant of history are the very reason we find ourselves in a position very similar to the one we found ourselves in – in 1775. People ignorant of history are the very reason that things degrade to the point where justified force is the only solution.

      • Winifred

        I hear you. I struggle with what you are saying. I don’t agree with being the first to pull the trigger and I don’t agree with war mentality or bloodshed. I don’t really have an answer, and I am sure you could beat, me hands, down with history facts. But, I do know that what happened as a result of many revolutions in history, followed by counter revolutions was often terrible, and did not result necessarily in better governments (i.e.Russian, French). One evil seems to follow another. Just, maybe, there is another way. Could you consider, considering that?
        What would I do if I, or my family was attacked? What am I doing while innocent people are being attacked in other lands…. honestly, not much, but talking, maybe voting, ….. trying to do some good where I can, as lame as that sounds and feels sometimes. I teach kids from those other lands and I really do try to do my best for them….really, even if I don’t agree with all of their outlooks (how could I? I don’t even agree with everything Michael Schmidt does, and I respect highly his efforts).
        I agree with you regarding our inalienable rights (so long as it does not cause another harm), and I don’t think what the government is doing is right, nor do I think I should have to ask them for permission; but we are living in community, and maybe we need to challenge the government to try to make changes for the bigger community, and not just for ourselves….without bloodshed. In this case definitely. In other situations. I absolutely hope so. I struggle to say I pray these days, but I do in my way.
        Thank you for your reply,

        ps You are right to say that I should not confuse your views with that of the Bovine. They are your comments, As mine are mine. I may not have all the facts, nor be able to remember them; but I do think deeply, and still do value ideals, and, as 60’s or 70’s or 80’s or new age or whatever it is labled, I hope in love.

      • Thank you for your thoughtful response Winifred.
        Like most people I want nothing but to peacefully co-exist on this planet.
        But what many do not consider is what if that does not work? What if there are others that will not let you peacefully coexist? (The Jews of Germany and the Christians of the Ukraine learned this lesson first hand.)

        We all put up with a certain amount of tyranny. we have to. But I hope that we all have our lines in the sand. For some it is when they come for their weapons. For others it may be when the men in the black masks come and rape your daughter or your wife.

        I believe my inalienable right to life includes a right up to an including killing deader than a door nail anyone or thing that threatens my life Winifred. It does not matter if they wear a badge or have a title. I have a right to defend my life. Period end of story as far as I am concerned.

        Our owners have done an increadable amount of brain washing and have been especially successful in Canada.

        I understand from a gun owning friend that in Canada, that a gun owner that would use a gun in their house to stop the rape and ax murder of their child would be prosecuted by the authorities and the UK is the same way except I have seen people prosecuted for using even an umbrella to defend themselves. People in the States do not believe stories like this when I relate them. Even the gun haters. They do not believe that a society so backwards and upside down could exist. Yet that is my understanding of the legal state of affairs in Canada.

        My bottom line is that I am the watchman on the wall. These things are very likely coming to you and yours and sooner rather than later. You can choose to act or you can choose to ignore. Pick a side: good or evil.
        I believe it is that simple.

        If you don’t believe there is risk perhaps you will find this information credible:

        Love, Liberty, and Blessings

  13. Deb in Michigan


  14. Gina

    Sadly, Monsanto seems to be bent on world domination lately. They go all over the globe to enact laws that allow companies that own GMO patents to enforce their patent rights on seed stocks. All too often people realize way too late that pollen can be wind blown cross tens of miles pollenating crops in ajacent farmers fields. Ownership of seed stock, or using seed stock thats contaminated by patent seed stock can and does lead to legal issues that Monsanto uses to litigate small farmers in to bankrupcy all the while proclaiming that the seed MUST be stolen or that the farmer has nafarious plans to extract the patented gene to produce super seeds. Yeah, be afraid if your a farmer. Be very afraid if you eat ‘food’.

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